Category Archives: Game Preview

Game Preview: 4/9/17 at TBL

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, April 8
Buffalo 0 at Florida 3
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Lehner (34 saves/37 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 3/4; Shots: Florida 37 – Buffalo 30

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 400)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 81 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 45 games
Taylor Fedun (foot, March 20) – 9 games
Kyle Okposo (illness, March 28) – 5 games
Anders Nilsson (undisclosed, April 5) – 2 games
Marcus Foligno (knee, April 8) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
4/3:
Recalled F Alexander Nylander from Rochester (AHL)
4/5: Recalled G Linus Ullmark from Rochester (AHL)
4/6: Assigned G Linus Ullmark to Rochester (AHL)
4/7: Recalled G Linus Ullmark from Rochester (AHL); Assigned D Brendan Guhle to Rochester (AHL) from Prince George (WHL)
4/8: Signed F Sean Malone to a two-year, entry-level contract

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at LIGHTNING

  • This is the fourth and final meeting between the Sabres and Lightning this season.
  • Last meeting: Tampa Bay defeated Buffalo 2-1 in Buffalo on March 4
  • The Sabres are 1-8-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Lightning; 3-7-0 on the road.
  • This is the 94th game all-time between Buffalo and Tampa Bay; Buffalo has a 52-34-7 series record.
  • The Sabres are 28-16-3 on the road against the Lightning all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 5-2-1 all-time on April 9 (regular season only).
  • April 9, 1980: Bob Sauve records the first playoff shutout in franchise history with a 6-0 win vs. Vancouver.
  • April 9, 1988: John Tucker sets a franchise playoff record with four goals in a 6-2 win vs. Boston.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are 23-15-7 all-time in the final game of the regular season, including a 6-3-2 record since 2005-06.
  • After going 4-9-3 in their first 16 games against Atlantic Division opponents this season, the Sabres are 9-3-1 in their last 13.
  • Buffalo is 56-for-65 (86.2%) on the penalty kill in its last 25 games.
  • The Sabres need a win tonight to avoid being swept in the season series against the Lightning for the first time ever.

TOPPING TAMPA

  • The Sabres’ 28-16-3 (.628) record in Tampa Bay is the team’s best all-time road record against any Eastern Conference opponent. The team’s next best road record against an Eastern conference opponent is its 41-26-11 (.596) mark at Washington.
  • Buffalo’s all-time record of 52-33-8 (.602) against Tampa Bay is the team’s third-best record against any Eastern Conference opponent, trailing only their 87-48-20 (.626) mark against Washington and their 113-67-26 (.612) record against Toronto.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s 19th of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 3-0 loss last night at Florida. The Sabres are 8-8-3 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 6-11-1 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets this season is: four points (2), three points (2), two points (8), one point (2) and zero points (4).

LOCAL KID MAKES GOOD

  • West Seneca native Sean Malone made his NHL debut last night at Florida. Malone become the seventh player born in the Buffalo area to appear in a regular-season game for the Sabres, joining Cole Schneider, Justin Bailey, Marcus Foligno, Patrick Kaleta, Tim Kennedy and Scott Thomas.
  • Aside from these seven, 10 other Sabres players in franchise history have been born in New York State:
    • Peter Ciavaglia (Albany); Jerry D’Amigo (Binghamton); Zach Bogosian and Mike Hurlbut (Massena); Tracey Pratt (New York City); Rory Fitzpatrick, Brian Gionta and Derek Whitmore (Rochester); Tim Connolly (Syracuse); Connor Knapp (York)

JACK ATTACK

  • In the time since his Nov. 29 return from an injury that sidelined him for 21 games, Jack Eichel is tied for eighth among all NHL skaters with 57 points (24+33) and leads the league with 245 shots on goal.
  • Eichel has logged 42 points (16+26) in his last 39 games, including 12 multi-point outings during that stretch. The Sabres are 14-2-0 this season (and 22-5-1 in his career) when he has at least two points.
  • Eichel’s .95 points per game rank him 10th among all players with at least 20 games played this season.
  • If Eichel records four points tonight, he will be the eighth player in franchise history to record a point per game in one of his first two full NHL seasons, joining Rick Martin (1971-72), Rene Robert (1972-73), Dave Andreychuk (1983-84), Phil Housley (1983-84), Pierre Turgeon (1988-89), Alexander Mogilny (1990-91) and Thomas Vanek (2006-07).

*All rankings as of the end of last night’s game.

THE KANE EVENT

  • Evander Kane has scored each of his 27 goals this season in his last 57 games.
  • Kane is tied for 15th in the NHL with 24 even-strength goals despite not scoring his first until Dec. 3.
  • Since Dec. 1, Kane ranks ninth among all NHL skaters in goals (27) and leads the league in even-strength goals (24).

*All rankings as of the end of last night’s game.

SOPHOMORE SURGE
In their second full NHL seasons, Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart have each improved on their points-per-game totals from 2015-16.

2015-16

2016-17

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

G/GP

.30 (25)

.29 (24)

.40 (33)

.22 (18)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.55 (45)

.38 (32)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.95 (78)

.60 (49)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.1 (335)

2.3 (186)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres rank first in the league with a 24.6% success rate on the power play.
  • Buffalo has not finished a season ranked in the top five in power-play percentage since the 2005-06 season (third, 21.2%) and the team has led the league only once (1991-92, 22.5%)
  • The team’s current power-play percentage would rank as the third-best conversion rate in franchise history and the best since the team’s 25.4% mark in 1975-76. It would be the 13th-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
finished last night’s game tied for 34th among all NHL skaters with 39 assists this season.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 20.4 percent of his teammates’ goals. Only one Sabres defenseman has ever recorded an assist on more than 20 percent of his teammates’ goals: Phil Housley (22.6%) in 1989-90.
  • Ristolainen would need to fail to record an assist on each of his teammates’ next five goals to fall below 20 percent.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings after last night’s game)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 24.6% PP% (1st)
  • Eichel: 4.1 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 279 hits (5th)
  • Kane: 3.7 S/GP (5th)
  • Nilsson: .933 EV SV% (6th), .923 SV% (10th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:31 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.9 FO% (5th)
  • Ristolainen: 24 PPA (4th), 26:31 TOI/GP (5th), 39 A (T-7th, defensemen)

BUF-TBL Connections
Josh Gorges:

  • Represented Canada alongside Braydon Coburn at the 2004 World Junior Championship.

Dmitry Kulikov:

  • Teammates with Jason Garrison for the Florida Panthers from 2009-2012.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Represented Sweden with Victor Hedman at the 2010 World Championship.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Represented Canada alongside Jonathan Drouin at the 2014 World Junior Championship.
  • Brayden Point was a member of Team Canada along with Reinhart at the 2015 World Junior Championship.

World Championship:

  • Jake McCabe played with Tyler Johnson for the United States at the 2014 World Championship.

NHL Draft:

  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Andrei Vasilevskiy (19th overall) were both first-round picks in the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall) and Jonathan Drouin (3rd overall) were both taken in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (279), Ristolainen (193), Gorges (142)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (158), McCabe (114), Gorges (107)
Shots: Kane (258), Eichel (245), O’Reilly (188)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
4-4-2 (10), 23/24, 8/35, 26/31
11-20: 3-4-3 (9), 15/26, 6/31, 28/36
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/26, 8/30, 13/24
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 27/31, 7/34, 21/28
41-50: 4-5-1 (9), 28/33, 6/27, 21/28
51-60: 6-4-0 (12), 26/25, 6/25, 24/30
61-70: 2-7-1 (5), 31/39, 9/30, 24/29
71-80: 5-5-0 (10), 21/23, 7/18, 21/24
81-82: 0-1-0 (0), 0/3, 0/2, 3/4

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-6; 108-111 all-time)
Oct. 18 at CGY: L, 4-3 (GWG-Monahan, 2:26)
Nov. 11 vs. NJD: L, 2-1 (GWG-Greene, 0:29)
Dec. 5 at WSH: L, 3-2 (GWG-Johansson, 2:38)
Dec. 6 vs. EDM: W, 4-3 (GWG-Ristolainen, 0:57)
Dec. 16 vs. NYI: W, 3-2 (GWG-Ristolainen, 0:42)

Jan. 5 at CHI: L, 4-3 (GWG-Kane, 0:56)
Jan. 20 vs. DET: W, 3-2 (GWG-Okposo, 4:34)
Jan. 21 at MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Bogosian, 1:48)
Jan. 24 at NSH: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel, 2:35)

Feb. 2 vs. NYR: L, 2-1 (GWG-Kreider, 3:56)
Feb. 7 vs. SJS: W, 5-4 (GWG-Kane, 1:05)
Feb. 28 vs. NSH: L, 5-4 (GWG-Forsberg, 2:45)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (2-6; 69-64 all-time)
Oct. 25 at PHI: L, 4-3 (GDG-Giroux)
Nov. 9 vs. OTT: L, 2-1 (GDG-Ryan)
Nov. 19 vs. PIT: W, 2-1 (GDG-C. O’Reilly)
Nov. 23 vs. DET: L, 2-1 (GDG-Vanek)
Dec. 17 at CAR: L, 2-1 (GDG-Stempniak)
Dec. 20 at FLA: L, 4-3 (GDG-Trocheck)
March 4 vs. TBL: L, 2-1 (GDG-Point)
March 17 at ANA: W, 2-1 (GDG-Girgensons)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Goals

Tyler Ennis … 3 goals … 100 NHL goals
Assists
Brian Gionta … 2 assists … 300 NHL assists
Points
Evander Kane … 1 point … 300 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
Alexander Nylander … 1st NHL game … April 3 vs. TOR
Sean Malone … 1st NHL game … April 8 at FLA

Game Preview: 4/8/17 at FLA

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Wednesday, April 5
Montreal 1 at Buffalo 2
Goals: Ristolainen, Ennis
Goalie: Lehner (31 saves/32 shots)
PP: 0/0; PK: 1/1; Shots: Montreal 32 – Buffalo 30

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 394)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 80 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 44 games
Taylor Fedun (foot, March 20) – 8 games
Kyle Okposo (illness, March 28) – 4 games
Anders Nilsson (undisclosed, April 5) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
4/3:
Recalled F Alexander Nylander from Rochester (AHL)
4/5: Recalled G Linus Ullmark from Rochester (AHL)
4/6: Assigned G Linus Ullmark to Rochester (AHL)
4/7: Recalled G Linus Ullmark from Rochester (AHL); Assigned D Brendan Guhle to Rochester (AHL) from Prince George (WHL)
4/8: Signed F Sean Malone to a two-year, entry-level contract

REMAINING GAMES
Sunday, April 9:
Buffalo at Tampa Bay, 5 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at PANTHERS

  • This is the fourth and final meeting between the Sabres and Panthers this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Florida 4-2 in Buffalo on March 27
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Panthers; 3-4-3 on the road.
  • This is the 92nd game all-time between Buffalo and Florida; Buffalo has a 48-35-8 series record.
  • The Sabres are 21-19-4 on the road against the Panthers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 5-6-1 all-time on April 8 (regular season only).
  • April 8, 1973: The Sabres earn the first playoff victory in franchise history, topping Montreal 5-1.
  • April 8, 1977: Jim Lorentz scores the first hat trick in Sabres playoff history (and Gilbert Perreault records an assist on all three Lorentz goals) in a 7-1 win over Minnesota.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • After going 4-9-3 in their first 16 games against Atlantic Division opponents this season, the Sabres are 9-2-1 in their last 12.
  • The Sabres are 53-for-61 (86.9%) on the penalty kill in their last 24 games.
  • A win tonight would give the Sabres consecutive wins against the Panthers for the first time since they won three in a row from Feb. 10 to Oct. 29, 2011. Buffalo hasn’t won three games against Florida in a season since 2009-10.
  • The Panthers are one of only six NHL teams (excluding the Sabres) that Jack Eichel has not yet recorded a goal against.

TAMING THE CATS

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 15 points (6+9) in his last 13 games against the Panthers, including points in 11 of those contests and four two-point games.
  • Evander Kane has 16 points (11+5) in his last 16 games against Florida.
  • Sam Reinhart has eight points (5+3) in his last six games against the Panthers.
  • Jack Eichel has four assists in his last four games against Florida.
  • Brian Gionta has a point in each of his last three games against the Panthers (1+2).

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s 19th of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which will conclude tomorrow night at Tampa Bay. The Sabres are 8-7-3 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 6-11-1 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets this season is: four points (2), three points (2), two points (8), one point (2) and zero points (4).

JACK ATTACK

  • In the time since his Nov. 29 return from an injury that sidelined him for 21 games, Jack Eichel is tied for seventh among all NHL skaters with 57 points (24+33) and leads the league with 241 shots on goal.
  • Eichel has logged 42 points (16+26) in his last 38 games, including 12 multi-point outings during that stretch. The Sabres are 14-2-0 this season (and 22-5-1 in his career) when he has at least two points.
  • Eichel’s .97 points per game rank him ninth among all players with at least 20 games played this season.
  • If Eichel finishes the season at a point-per-game pace or better, he will be the eighth player in franchise history to do so in one of his first two full NHL seasons, joining Rick Martin (1971-72), Rene Robert (1972-73), Dave Andreychuk (1983-84), Phil Housley (1983-84), Pierre Turgeon (1988-89), Alexander Mogilny (1990-91) and Thomas Vanek (2006-07).

*All rankings before 4/7 games.

THE KANE EVENT

  • Evander Kane has scored each of his 27 goals this season in his last 56 games.
  • Kane is tied for 15th in the NHL with 24 even-strength goals despite not scoring his first until Dec. 3.
  • Since Dec. 1, Kane ranks eighth among all NHL skaters in goals (27) and leads the league in even-strength goals (24).

*All rankings before 4/7 games.

SOPHOMORE SURGE
In their second full NHL seasons, Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart have each improved on their points-per-game totals from 2015-16.

2015-16

2016-17

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

G/GP

.30 (25)

.29 (24)

.41 (33)

.22 (18)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.56 (46)

.39 (32)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.97 (79)

.61 (50)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.1 (335)

2.3 (186)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres ranked first in the league with a 24.8% success rate on the power play entering play Tuesday.
  • Buffalo has not finished a season ranked in the top five in power-play percentage since the 2005-06 season (third, 21.2%) and the team has led the league only once (1991-92, 22.5%)
  • The team’s current power-play percentage would rank as the third-best conversion rate in franchise history and the best since the team’s 25.4% mark in 1975-76. It would be the 13th-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
entered play Friday tied for 32nd among all NHL skaters with 39 assists this season.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 20.4 percent of his teammates’ goals. Only one Sabres defenseman has ever recorded an assist on more than 20 percent of his teammates’ goals: Phil Housley (22.6%) in 1989-90.
  • Ristolainen would need to fail to record an assist on each of his teammates’ next five goals to fall below 20 percent.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 4/7 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 24.8% PP% (1st)
  • Eichel: 4.1 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 279 hits (5th)
  • Kane: 3.8 S/GP (5th)
  • Nilsson: .933 EV SV% (6th), .923 SV% (10th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:33 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.9 FO% (5th)
  • Ristolainen: 24 PPA (4th), 26:34 TOI/GP (5th), 39 A (7th, defensemen)

BUF-FLA Connections
Former Sabres:

  • Mark Pysyk was taken by the Sabres in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft. In 125 games over four seasons, Pysyk recorded 26 points (5+21).

Former Panthers:

  • Dmitry Kulikov played seven seasons in Florida before coming to Buffalo in a trade on June 25, 2016. Drafted in the first round (14th overall) by Florida in 2009, Kulikov was the second-ranked defenseman in goals (28), assists (110) and points (138) in 460 games for the Panthers from 2009 to 2016.

Jack Eichel:

  • Was named to Team North America for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey along with Aaron Ekblad and Vincent Trochek.

Tyler Ennis:

  • Played at the 2015 World Championship with Aaron Ekblad on Team Canada.
  • Shares a birthplace of Edmonton, Alberta with Alex Petrovic.

Cody Franson:

  • Played with James Reimer for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2010-15.

Evander Kane:

  • Represented Canada alongside James Reimer at the 2011 World Championship.

Jake McCabe:

  • Represented the United States alongside Vincent Trochek at the 2013 World Junior Championship and the 2014 World Championship.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • He and Aaron Ekblad share a birth date. O’Reilly was born on Feb. 7, 1991, and Ekblad was born on Feb. 7, 1996. The two also played together for Team Canada at the 2015 World Championship.
  • Played alongside Michael Matheson when Team Canada participated in the 2016 World Championships.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Finland at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey with Aleksander Barkov and Jussi Jokinen. He and Aleksander Barkov were also teammates at the 2012 World Junior Championship.

Zemgus Girgensons:

  • Spent the 2011-12 season playing with Michael Matheson for the Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL).

NHL Draft:

  • Nicolas Deslauriers (84th overall) and Reilly Smith (69th overall) were both taken in the third round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall) and Alexander Barkov (2nd overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.
  • Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) and Aaron Ekblad (1st overall) were the top two picks in the 2014 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (279), Ristolainen (192), Gorges (140)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (158), McCabe (113), Gorges (107)
Shots: Kane (256), Eichel (241), O’Reilly (185)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
4-4-2 (10), 23/24, 8/35, 26/31
11-20: 3-4-3 (9), 15/26, 6/31, 28/36
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/26, 8/30, 13/24
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 27/31, 7/34, 21/28
41-50: 4-5-1 (9), 28/33, 6/27, 21/28
51-60: 6-4-0 (12), 26/25, 6/25, 24/30
61-70: 2-7-1 (5), 31/39, 9/30, 24/29
71-80: 5-5-0 (10), 21/23, 7/18, 21/24

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-6; 108-111 all-time)
Oct. 18 at CGY: L, 4-3 (GWG-Monahan, 2:26)
Nov. 11 vs. NJD: L, 2-1 (GWG-Greene, 0:29)
Dec. 5 at WSH: L, 3-2 (GWG-Johansson, 2:38)
Dec. 6 vs. EDM: W, 4-3 (GWG-Ristolainen, 0:57)
Dec. 16 vs. NYI: W, 3-2 (GWG-Ristolainen, 0:42)

Jan. 5 at CHI: L, 4-3 (GWG-Kane, 0:56)
Jan. 20 vs. DET: W, 3-2 (GWG-Okposo, 4:34)
Jan. 21 at MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Bogosian, 1:48)
Jan. 24 at NSH: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel, 2:35)

Feb. 2 vs. NYR: L, 2-1 (GWG-Kreider, 3:56)
Feb. 7 vs. SJS: W, 5-4 (GWG-Kane, 1:05)
Feb. 28 vs. NSH: L, 5-4 (GWG-Forsberg, 2:45)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (2-6; 69-64 all-time)
Oct. 25 at PHI: L, 4-3 (GDG-Giroux)
Nov. 9 vs. OTT: L, 2-1 (GDG-Ryan)
Nov. 19 vs. PIT: W, 2-1 (GDG-C. O’Reilly)
Nov. 23 vs. DET: L, 2-1 (GDG-Vanek)
Dec. 17 at CAR: L, 2-1 (GDG-Stempniak)
Dec. 20 at FLA: L, 4-3 (GDG-Trocheck)
March 4 vs. TBL: L, 2-1 (GDG-Point)
March 17 at ANA: W, 2-1 (GDG-Girgensons)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Goals

Tyler Ennis … 3 goals … 100 NHL goals
Assists
Brian Gionta … 2 assists … 300 NHL assists
Points
Evander Kane … 1 point … 300 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
C.J. Smith … 1st NHL game … April 2 vs. NYI
C.J. Smith … 1st NHL point (assist) … April 2 vs. NYI
Alexander Nylander … 1st NHL game … April 3 vs. TOR

Game Preview: 4/5/17 vs. MTL

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Monday, April 3
Toronto 4 at Buffalo 2
Goals: O’Reilly, Eichel
Goalie: Lehner (2 saves/5 shots)/Nilsson (39 saves/40 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 2/3; Shots: Toronto 45 – Buffalo 22

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 389)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 79 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 43 games
Taylor Fedun (foot, March 20) – 7 games
Kyle Okposo (illness, March 28) – 3 games
Anders Nilsson (undisclosed, April 5) – 0 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/30:
Signed F C.J. Smith to a two-year, entry-level contract; Assigned D Brady Austin to Rochester (AHL)
4/3: Recalled F Alexander Nylander from Rochester (AHL)
4/5: Recalled G Linus Ullmark from Rochester (AHL)

REMAINING GAMES
Saturday, April 8:
Buffalo at Florida, 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 9: Buffalo at Tampa Bay, 5 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
CANADIENS at SABRES

  • This is the fourth and final meeting between the Sabres and Canadiens this season.
  • Last meeting: Montreal defeated Buffalo 5-2 in Montreal on Jan. 31
  • The Sabres are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Canadiens; 3-5-2 at home
  • This is the 275th game all-time between Buffalo and Montreal; Buffalo has a 125-110-39 series record.
  • The Sabres are 71-39-26 at home against the Canadiens all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 13-5-0 all-time on April 5.
  • April 5, 1980: Mike Ramsey scores his first NHL goal in a 9-1 win at Pittsburgh.
  • April 5, 2013: Ryan Miller sets the Sabres’ career saves record, passing Dominik Hasek with his 13,309th save in a 4-2 win vs. Ottawa.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are 52-for-60 (86.7%) on the penalty kill in their last 23 games.
  • Buffalo is 25-15-6 all-time in the final home game of the season.
  • Evander Kane (2+4) and Cody Franson (1+5) each have six points in their last six games against Montreal.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has 13 points (4+9) in 14 career games against the Canadiens.

HOME COOKIN’

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 29 points (11+18) in his last 27 home games.
  • Jack Eichel has 35 points (14+21) in 31 home games this season, including 11 multi-point outings.
  • Evander Kane has 12 points (9+3) in his last 13 home games.

JACK ATTACK

  • In the time since his Nov. 29 return from an injury that sidelined him for 21 games, Jack Eichel is ranked seventh among all NHL skaters with 56 points (24+32) and leads the league with 239 shots on goal.
  • Eichel has logged 41 points (16+25) in his last 37 games, including 12 multi-point outings during that stretch. The Sabres are 14-2-0 this season (and 22-5-1 in his career) when he has at least two points.
  • Eichel’s .97 points per game rank him ninth among all players with at least 20 games played this season.
  • If Eichel finishes the season at a point-per-game pace or better, he will be the eighth player in franchise history to do so in one of his first two full NHL seasons, joining Rick Martin (1971-72), Rene Robert (1972-73), Dave Andreychuk (1983-84), Phil Housley (1983-84), Pierre Turgeon (1988-89), Alexander Mogilny (1990-91) and Thomas Vanek (2006-07).

*All rankings before 4/4 games.

THE KANE EVENT

  • Evander Kane has scored each of his 27 goals this season in his last 55 games.
  • Kane is tied for 14th in the NHL with 24 even-strength goals despite not scoring his first until Dec. 3.
  • Since Dec. 1, Kane is tied for sixth among all NHL skaters in goals (27) and leads the league in even-strength goals (24).

*All rankings before 4/4 games.

SOPHOMORE SURGE
In their second full NHL seasons, Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart have each improved on their points-per-game totals from 2015-16.

2015-16

2016-17

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

G/GP

.30 (25)

.29 (24)

.41 (34)

.22 (18)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.55 (45)

.39 (32)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.97 (79)

.62 (51)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.1 (338)

2.3 (187)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres ranked first in the league with a 24.8% success rate on the power play entering play Tuesday.
  • Buffalo has not finished a season ranked in the top five in power-play percentage since the 2005-06 season (third, 21.2%) and the team has led the league only once (1991-92, 22.5%)
  • The team’s current power-play percentage would rank as the third-best conversion rate in franchise history and the best since the team’s 25.4% mark in 1975-76. It would be the 13th-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
entered play Tuesday tied for 31st among all NHL skaters with 39 assists this season.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 20.5 percent of his teammates’ goals. Only one Sabres defenseman has ever recorded an assist on more than 20 percent of his teammates’ goals: Phil Housley (22.6%) in 1989-90.
  • Ristolainen would need to fail to record an assist on each of his teammates’ next six goals to fall below 20 percent.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 4/4 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 24.8% PP% (1st)
  • Eichel: 4.1 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 276 hits (5th)
  • Kane: 3.8 S/GP (5th)
  • Moulson: 11 PPG (T-10th)
  • Nilsson: .933 EV SV% (6th), .923 SV% (7th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:34 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.9 FO% (5th)
  • Ristolainen: 24 PPA (4th), 26:37 TOI/GP (5th), 158 BkS (T-10th), 39 A (7th, defensemen)

BUF-MTL Connections
Former Sabres:

  • Paul Byron was drafted by the Sabres in the sixth round (179th overall) of the 2007 NHL Draft. With Buffalo, he appeared in eight games during the 2010-11 season and recorded two points (1+1).
  • Brian Flynn played in parts of three seasons for Buffalo, totaling 41 points (17+24) in 159 games.
  • Torrey Mitchell played 60 games for the Sabres during parts of the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons. He had 14 points (7+7) and 30 penalty minutes during his time in Buffalo.

Former Canadiens:

  • Brian Gionta played for the Canadiens from 2009-2014, registering 173 points (97+76) in 303 games played.  He also served as the team’s captain from 2010-2014.
  • Josh Gorges was a member of the Canadiens from 2006-2014, registering 88 points (13+75) over 464 games played.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Played with Al Montoya for the Winnipeg Jets from 2012-2014. The two also played together for the United States at the 2009 World Championship.

Tyler Ennis:

  • He and Brendan Gallagher were both born in Edmonton, Alberta.

Cody Franson:

  • He and Shea Weber were both born in Sicamous, British Columbia.
  • Represented Canada alongside Carey Price at the 2007 World Junior Championship.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Shea Weber for the Kelowna Rockets (WHL) from 2001-2004.

Evander Kane:

  • Played with Brendan Gallagher for the Vancouver Giants during the 2008-09 season.
  • Played with Al Montoya for the Winnipeg Jets from 2012-2014.

Dmitry Kulikov:

  • Represented Russia alongside Alexei Emelin and Alexander Radulov at the 2011 World Championship.
  • Played with Al Montoya for the Florida Panthers from 2014-2016.

Jake McCabe:

  • Represented the United States alongside Alex Galchenyuk at the 2013 World Junior Championship and the 2014 World Championship. Max Pacioretty and Jeff Petry were also a part of the 2014 World Championship squad.

Matt Moulson:

  • Played with Al Montoya for the New York Islanders from 2010-2012.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played with Max Pacioretty and Jeff Petry for the United States at the 2012 World Championship.
  • Played with Al Montoya for the New York Islanders from 2010-2012.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Won the gold medal with Team Canada alongside Brendan Gallagher at the 2016 World Championship.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Won the gold medal with Team Canada alongside Brendan Gallagher at the 2016 World Championship.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Team Finland alongside Artturi Lehkonen at the 2014 World Junior Championship, where the team won the gold medal on Ristolainen’s overtime goal.

NHL Draft:

  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall), Alex Galchenyuk (3rd overall) and Stefan Matteau (29th overall) were all first-round selections in the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall) and Michael McCarron (25th overall) were both first-round picks in the 2013 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (276), Ristolainen (190), Gorges (138)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (158), McCabe (113), Gorges (107)
Shots: Kane (252), Eichel (239), O’Reilly (184)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
4-4-2 (10), 23/24, 8/35, 26/31
11-20: 3-4-3 (9), 15/26, 6/31, 28/36
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/26, 8/30, 13/24
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 27/31, 7/34, 21/28
41-50: 4-5-1 (9), 28/33, 6/27, 21/28
51-60: 6-4-0 (12), 26/25, 6/25, 24/30
61-70: 2-7-1 (5), 31/39, 9/30, 24/29
71-80: 4-5-0 (8), 19/22, 7/18, 20/23

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-6; 108-111 all-time)
Oct. 18 at CGY: L, 4-3 (GWG-Monahan)
Nov. 11 vs. NJD: L, 2-1 (GWG-Greene)
Dec. 5 at WSH: L, 3-2 (GWG-Johansson)
Dec. 6 vs. EDM: W, 4-3 (GWG-Ristolainen)
Dec. 16 vs. NYI: W, 3-2 (GWG-Ristolainen)

Jan. 5 at CHI: L, 4-3 (GWG-Kane)
Jan. 20 vs. DET: W, 3-2 (GWG-Okposo)
Jan. 21 at MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Bogosian)
Jan. 24 at NSH: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel)

Feb. 2 vs. NYR: L, 2-1 (GWG-Kreider)
Feb. 7 vs. SJS: W, 5-4 (GWG-Kane)
Feb. 28 vs. NSH: L, 5-4 (GWG-Forsberg)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (2-6; 69-64 all-time)
Oct. 25 at PHI: L, 4-3 (GDG-Giroux)
Nov. 9 vs. OTT: L, 2-1 (GDG-Ryan)
Nov. 19 vs. PIT: W, 2-1 (GDG-C. O’Reilly)
Nov. 23 vs. DET: L, 2-1 (GDG-Vanek)
Dec. 17 at CAR: L, 2-1 (GDG-Stempniak)
Dec. 20 at FLA: L, 4-3 (GDG-Trocheck)
March 4 vs. TBL: L, 2-1 (GDG-Point)
March 17 at ANA: W, 2-1 (GDG-Girgensons)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Goals

Tyler Ennis … 4 goals … 100 NHL goals
Assists
Brian Gionta … 2 assists … 300 NHL assists
Points
Evander Kane … 2 points … 300 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
C.J. Smith … 1st NHL game … April 2 vs. NYI
C.J. Smith … 1st NHL point (assist) … April 2 vs. NYI
Alexander Nylander … 1st NHL game … April 3 vs. TOR

Game Preview: 4/3/17 vs. TOR

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Sunday, April 2
NY Islanders 2 at Buffalo 4
Goals: Kane, Girgensons
Goalie: Lehner (22 saves/26 shots)
PP: 0/4; PK: 1/1; Shots: Buffalo 37 – NY Islanders 26

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 385)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 78 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 42 games
Taylor Fedun (foot, March 20) – 6 games
Kyle Okposo (illness, March 28) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/30:
Signed F C.J. Smith to a two-year, entry-level contract; Assigned D Brady Austin to Rochester (AHL)
4/3: Recalled F Alexander Nylander from Rochester (AHL)

REMAINING GAMES
Wednesday, April 5:
Montreal at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 8: Buffalo at Florida, 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 9: Buffalo at Tampa Bay, 5 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
MAPLE LEAFS at SABRES

  • This is the fifth and final meeting between the Sabres and Maple Leafs this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Toronto 5-2 in Buffalo on March 25
  • The Sabres are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Maple Leafs; 8-1-1 at home.
  • This is the 206th game all-time between Buffalo and Toronto; Buffalo has a 113-66-26 series record.
  • The Sabres are 69-26-8 at home against the Maple Leafs all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 11-10-2 all-time on April 3.
  • April 3, 1982: Gilbert Perreault records his 1,000th NHL point in a 5-4 win vs. Montreal. Perreault, who finished his Sabres career with 1,326 points, remains the only player to record 1,000 points for the club.
  • April 3, 2006: The Sabres clinch a playoff spot with a 3-2 shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.
  • April 3, 2008: Ryan Miller appears in his 76th game of the season, the most ever by a Buffalo goaltender.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are 50-for-57 (87.7%) on the penalty kill in their last 22 games.
  • Evander Kane has nine points (7+2) in his last nine games against Toronto.
  • Jack Eichel has eight points (3+5) in six career games against the Maple Leafs.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled four points (1+3) in four games against Toronto this season.
  • Tyler Ennis has 19 points (8+11) in 20 games against Toronto since the beginning of the 2011-12 season.

HOME SWEET HOME

  • The home team has won 24 of the last 29 games between the Sabres and the Maple Leafs.
  • The Sabres are 18-2-1 in their last 21 home games against the Maple Leafs. Toronto’s win in Buffalo on Nov. 3, 2016 snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Sabres that lasted 1,373 days.
  • Each team has won a road game the series this season, marking the first time the Sabres and Maple Leafs have won in each other’s arenas in the same season since 2012-13.
  • The Maple Leafs haven’t won consecutive games in Buffalo since March 21 and Dec. 12, 2008.

HOME COOKIN’

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 28 points (10+18) in his last 26 home games.
  • Jack Eichel has 34 points (13+21) in 30 home games this season, including 11 multi-point outings.
  • Evander Kane (9+3) has 12 points in his last 12 home games.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s 18th of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began yesterday against the Islanders. The Sabres are 8-7-3 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 6-10-1 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets this season is: four points (2), three points (2), two points (8), one point (2) and zero points (3).

JACK ATTACK

  • In the time since his Nov. 29 return from an injury that sidelined him for 21 games, Jack Eichel is ranked seventh among all NHL skaters with 55 points (23+32) and leads the league with 232 shots on goal.
  • Eichel has logged 40 points (15+25) in his last 36 games, including 12 multi-point outings during that stretch. The Sabres are 14-2-0 this season (and 22-5-1 in his career) when he has at least two points.
  • Eichel’s .96 points per game rank him ninth among all players with at least 20 games played this season.
  • If Eichel finishes the season at a point-per-game pace or better, he will be the eighth player in franchise history to do so in one of his first two full NHL seasons, joining Rick Martin (1971-72), Rene Robert (1972-73), Dave Andreychuk (1983-84), Phil Housley (1983-84), Pierre Turgeon (1988-89), Alexander Mogilny (1990-91) and Thomas Vanek (2006-07).

*All rankings as of the conclusion of yesterday’s game.

THE KANE EVENT

  • Evander Kane has scored each of his 27 goals this season in his last 54 games.
  • Kane is tied for 13th in the NHL with 24 even-strength goals despite not scoring his first until Dec. 3.
  • Since Dec. 1, Kane is tied for sixth among all NHL skaters in goals (27) and leads the league in even-strength goals (24).

*All rankings as of the conclusion of yesterday’s game.

SOPHOMORE SURGE

In their second full NHL seasons, Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart have each improved on their points-per-game totals from 2015-16.

2015-16

2016-17

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

G/GP

.30 (25)

.29 (24)

.40 (33)

.23 (19)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.56 (46)

.39 (32)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.96 (79)

.61 (50)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.1 (335)

2.3 (188)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres rank first in the league with a 24.9% success rate on the power play.
  • Buffalo has not finished a season ranked in the top five in power-play percentage since the 2005-06 season (third, 21.2%) and the team has led the league only once (1991-92, 22.5%)
  • The team’s current power-play percentage would rank as the third-best conversion rate in franchise history and the best since the team’s 25.4% mark in 1975-76. It would be the 13th-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
finished yesterday’s game tied for 31st among all NHL skaters with 39 assists this season.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 20.7 percent of his teammates’ goals. Only one Sabres defenseman has ever recorded an assist on more than 20 percent of his teammates’ goals: Phil Housley (22.6%) in 1989-90.
  • Ristolainen would need to fail to record an assist on each of his teammates’ next five goals to fall below 20 percent.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings after yesterday’s game)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 24.9% PP% (1st)
  • Eichel: 4.1 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 272 hits (5th)
  • Kane: 3.8 S/GP (5th)
  • Lehner: .921 SV% (10th)
  • Moulson: 11 PPG (T-9th)
  • Nilsson: .929 EV SV% (10th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:36 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.9 FO% (5th)
  • Ristolainen: 24 PPA (4th), 26:42 TOI/GP (5th), 39 A (7th, defensemen)

BUF-TOR Connections
Former Maple Leafs:

  • Cody Franson was acquired by the Maple Leafs on July 3, 2011 when he was traded from the Nashville Predators. Franson spent four seasons with the Maple Leafs, racking up 115 points (20+95) in 236 games.

Jack Eichel:

  • Represented team North America alongside Auston Matthews at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. The two also played together for the United States National Team Development Program in 2013-14.
  • Played for the United States alongside Connor Carrick at the 2014 World Junior Championship. The two also played together for the United States National TeamDevelopment Program from 2010-2012.
  • Teammates with Jake Gardiner for Team USA at the 2015 World Championship.

Hudson Fasching:

  • Represented the United States alongside Auston Matthews at the 2016 World Championship.
  • Teammates with Connor Carrick for Team USA at the 2014 World Junior Championship and for the United States National Team Development Program in 2011-12.

Evander Kane

  • Shares a hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia with Morgan Rielly.

Jake McCabe:

  • Played alongside Connor Carrick for the United States National Team Development Program in 2010-11.
  • Represented the United States alongside Jake Gardiner at the 2014 World Championship.

Matt Moulson:

  • Played alongside Matt Martin for the New York Islanders from 2009-2013.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Played alongside Matt Martin for the New York Islanders from 2011-12 and then again in 2013-14.

Alexander Nylander:

  • Is the brother of William Nylander. The two represented Sweden at the 2016 World Junior Championship.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Played alongside Matt Hunwick for the Colorado Avalanche from 2010-2014.
  • Represented Canada with Morgan Rielly at the 2016 World Championship.

Kyle Okposo

  • Played alongside Matt Martin for the New York Islanders from 2009-2016.
  • Represented the United States with James van Riemsdyk at the 2007 and 2008 World Junior Championship.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Represented Canada with Morgan Rielly at the 2016 World Championship.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Finland alongside Leo Komarov at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

NHL Draft

  • Zach Bogosian (3rd overall), Jake Gardiner (17th overall) and Tyler Ennis (26th overall) were all first-round selections in the 2008 NHL Draft.
  • Evander Kane (4th overall), Nazem Kadri (7th overall) and Dmitry Kulikov (14th overall) were all first-round selections in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Morgan Rielly (5th overall) and Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) were both first-round selections in the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) and William Nylander (8th overall) were both first-round selections in the 2014 NHL Draft.
  • Jack Eichel (2nd overall) and Mitchell Marner (4th overall) were both first-round selections in the 2015 NHL Draft.
  • Auston Matthews (1st overall) and Alexander Nylander (8th overall) were both first-round selections in the 2016 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (272), Ristolainen (189), Gorges (138)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (156), McCabe (111), Gorges (105)
Shots: Kane (248), Eichel (233), O’Reilly (183)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
4-4-2 (10), 23/24, 8/35, 26/31
11-20: 3-4-3 (9), 15/26, 6/31, 28/36
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/26, 8/30, 13/24
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 27/31, 7/34, 21/28
41-50: 4-5-1 (9), 28/33, 6/27, 21/28
51-60: 6-4-0 (12), 26/25, 6/25, 24/30
61-70: 2-7-1 (5), 31/39, 9/30, 24/29
71-80: 4-4-0 (8), 17/18, 7/17, 18/20

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-6; 108-111 all-time)
Oct. 18 at CGY: L, 4-3 (GWG-Monahan)
Nov. 11 vs. NJD: L, 2-1 (GWG-Greene)
Dec. 5 at WSH: L, 3-2 (GWG-Johansson)
Dec. 6 vs. EDM: W, 4-3 (GWG-Ristolainen)
Dec. 16 vs. NYI: W, 3-2 (GWG-Ristolainen)

Jan. 5 at CHI: L, 4-3 (GWG-Kane)
Jan. 20 vs. DET: W, 3-2 (GWG-Okposo)
Jan. 21 at MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Bogosian)
Jan. 24 at NSH: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel)

Feb. 2 vs. NYR: L, 2-1 (GWG-Kreider)
Feb. 7 vs. SJS: W, 5-4 (GWG-Kane)
Feb. 28 vs. NSH: L, 5-4 (GWG-Forsberg)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (2-6; 69-64 all-time)
Oct. 25 at PHI: L, 4-3 (GDG-Giroux)
Nov. 9 vs. OTT: L, 2-1 (GDG-Ryan)
Nov. 19 vs. PIT: W, 2-1 (GDG-C. O’Reilly)
Nov. 23 vs. DET: L, 2-1 (GDG-Vanek)
Dec. 17 at CAR: L, 2-1 (GDG-Stempniak)
Dec. 20 at FLA: L, 4-3 (GDG-Trocheck)
March 4 vs. TBL: L, 2-1 (GDG-Point)
March 17 at ANA: W, 2-1 (GDG-Girgensons)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Goals

Tyler Ennis … 4 goals … 100 NHL goals
Assists
Brian Gionta … 3 assists … 300 NHL assists
Points
Evander Kane … 2 points … 300 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
C.J. Smith … 1st NHL game … April 2 vs. NYI
C.J. Smith … 1st NHL point (assist) … April 2 vs. NYI

Game Preview: 4/2/17 vs. NYI

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, March 28
Buffalo 1 at Columbus 3
Goals: Rodrigues
Goalie: Nilsson (26 saves/28 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 1/2; PK: 3/3; Shots: Buffalo 42 – Columbus 29

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 381)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 77 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 41 games
Cody Franson (undisclosed, March 20) – 5 games
Taylor Fedun (foot, March 20) – 5 games
Kyle Okposo (illness, March 28) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/30:
Signed F C.J. Smith to a two-year, entry-level contract; Assigned D Brady Austin to Rochester (AHL)

REMAINING GAMES
Monday, April 3:
Toronto at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, April 5: Montreal at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 8: Buffalo at Florida, 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 9: Buffalo at Tampa Bay, 5 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
ISLANDERS at SABRES

  • This is third and final meeting between the Sabres and Islanders this season.
  • Last meeting: New York defeated Buffalo 5-1 in New York on Dec. 23, 2016
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Islanders; 4-4-2 at home.
  • This is the 165th game all-time between Buffalo and New York; Buffalo has an 80-61-23 series record.
  • The Sabres are 44-26-12 at home against the Islanders all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-5-3 all-time on April 2.
  • April 2, 2013: Ryan Miller plays his 492nd game in the NHL, breaking Dominik Hasek’s franchise record for most games played by a goaltender.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are 49-for-56 (87.5%) on the penalty kill in their last 21 games.
  • Buffalo went 15-for-36 (41.7%) on the power play in 14 games in March, including a 7-for-10 mark in the last five games.
  • Fourteen of the last 19 games between these teams have been decided by a single goal.
  • Robin Lehner is 3-1-2 with a .927 save percentage in six career games against the Islanders.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Jack Eichel has not gone two games without a point since Jan. 31 and Feb. 2. In the 27 games since, Eichel has totaled 34 points (11+23).
  • Ryan O’Reilly has totaled 14 points (6+8) in his last 15 games.
  • Sam Reinhart enters tonight’s game with points in each of his last three games played (1+2).
  • Robin Lehner has stopped 222 of 236 shots (.941) in his last seven appearances.

HOME COOKIN’

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 28 points (10+18) in his last 25 home games.
  • Jack Eichel has 34 points (13+21) in 29 home games this season, including 11 multi-point outings.
  • Evander Kane (8+3) and Kyle Okposo (4+7) each have 11 point in their last 11 home games.
  • Sam Reinhart has a point in each of his last four home games (2+2).

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s 18th of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which will conclude tomorrow night vs. Toronto. The Sabres are 8-6-3 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 6-10-1 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets this season is: four points (2), three points (2), two points (8), one point (2) and zero points (3).

JACK ATTACK

  • In the time since his Nov. 29 return from an injury that sidelined him for 21 games, Jack Eichel is tied for sixth among all NHL skaters with 55 points (23+32) and leads the league with 228 shots on goal.
  • Eichel has logged 40 points (15+25) in his last 35 games, including 12 multi-point outings during that stretch. The Sabres are 14-2-0 this season (and 22-5-1 in his career) when he has at least two points.
  • Eichel’s .98 points per game ranks him ninth among all players with at least 20 games played this season.
  • If Eichel finishes the season at a point-per-game pace or better, he will be the eighth player in franchise history to do so in one of his first two full NHL seasons, joining Rick Martin (1971-72), Rene Robert (1972-73), Dave Andreychuk (1983-84), Phil Housley (1983-84), Pierre Turgeon (1988-89), Alexander Mogilny (1990-91) and Thomas Vanek (2006-07).

*All rankings before 3/31 games.

THE KANE EVENT

  • Evander Kane has scored each of his 26 goals this season in his last 53 games.
  • Kane is tied for 15th in the NHL with 23 even-strength goals despite not scoring his first until Dec. 3.
  • Since Dec. 1, Kane is tied for sixth among all NHL skaters in goals (26) and leads the league in even-strength goals (23).

*All rankings before 3/31 games.

SOPHOMORE SURGE

In their second full NHL seasons, Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart have each improved on their points-per-game totals from 2015-16.

2015-16

2016-17

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

G/GP

.30 (25)

.29 (24)

.41 (34)

.23 (19)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.57 (47)

.39 (32)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.98 (81)

.62 (51)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.1 (334)

2.3 (188)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres rank first in the league with a 25.3% success rate on the power play.
  • Buffalo has not finished a season ranked in the top five in power-play percentage since the 2005-06 season (third, 21.2%) and the team has led the league only once (1991-92, 22.5%)
  • The team’s current power-play percentage would rank as the third-best conversion rate in franchise history and the best since the team’s 25.4% mark in 1975-76. It would be the eighth-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
entered play Friday tied for 30th among all NHL skaters with 39 assists this season.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 21.0 percent of his teammates’ goals. Only one Sabres defenseman has ever recorded an assist on more than 20 percent of his teammates’ goals: Phil Housley (22.6%) in 1989-90.
  • Ristolainen would need to fail to record an assist on each of his teammates’ next 10 goals to fall below 20 percent.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 3/31 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 25.3% PP% (1st)
  • Eichel: 4.1 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 269 hits (5th)
  • Kane: 3.7 S/GP (6th)
  • Lehner: .922 SV% (8th)
  • Moulson: 11 PPG (T-8th)
  • Nilsson: .929 EV SV% (10th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:36 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.6 FO% (5th)
  • Ristolainen: 24 PPA (T-3rd), 26:42 TOI/GP (5th), 25 PPP (T-10th), 39 A (7th, defensemen)

BUF-NYI Connections
Zach Bogosian:

  • Teammates with Andrew Ladd for the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets from 2010-2015.

Nicolas Deslauriers:

  • Played with Thomas Hickey for the Manchester Monarchs (AHL) from 2011-2013. Jean-Francois Berube was also a member of the team from 2012-14.

Jack Eichel:

  • Represented the United States alongside Anders Lee and Brock Nelson the 2015 World Championship.

Tyler Ennis:

  • He and Johnny Boychuk were both born in Edmonton, Alberta.
  • Represented Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championship with John Tavares.

Justin Falk:

  • Was a member of the Minnesota Wild organization from 2009-2013 along with Cal Clutterbuck.
  • Played for the Calgary Hitmen (WHL) during the 2004-05 season along with Andrew Ladd.

Marcus Foligno:

  • Played with Calvin de Haan and Casey Cizikas for Team Canada for the 2011 World Junior Championship held in Buffalo.

Cody Franson:

  • Played with Nikolay Kulemin for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2011-2014.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Jaroslav Halak for the Montreal Canadiens from 2006-2010.

Brian Gionta:

  • Played with Jaroslav Halak for the Montreal Canadiens during the 2009-10 season.

Evander Kane:

  • Teammates with John Tavares for Team Canada at the 2010, 2011 and 2012 World Championships. Cal Clutterbuck was also a member of the 2011 team.
  • Played with Andrew Ladd for the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets from 2010-2015. The two also represented Canada at the 2011 and 2012 World Championships.

Dmitry Kulikov:

  • Represented Russia at the 2010 World Championship alongside Nikolay Kulemin.
  • Was teammates with Dennis Seidenberg for the Florida Panthers during the 2009-10 season.

Jake McCabe:

  • Played with Brock Nelson for the United States at the 2014 and 2016 World Championships.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Played with Calvin de Haan for Team Canada at the 2009 World U18 Championship.
  • Represented Canada alongside Andrew Ladd at the 2012 and 2013 World Championships. John Tavares was also a member of the 2012 team.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Played with Adam Pelech for Team Canada at the 2014 World Junior Championship.

2009 World Junior Championship:

  • Tyler Ennis, Evander Kane, John Tavares and Thomas Hickey all played for Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (269), Ristolainen (186), Gorges (137)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (156), McCabe (110), Gorges (103)
Shots: Kane (240), Eichel (228), O’Reilly (182)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
4-4-2 (10), 23/24, 8/35, 26/31
11-20: 3-4-3 (9), 15/26, 6/31, 28/36
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/26, 8/30, 13/24
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 27/31, 7/34, 21/28
41-50: 4-5-1 (9), 28/33, 6/27, 21/28
51-60: 6-4-0 (12), 26/25, 6/25, 24/30
61-70: 2-7-1 (5), 31/39, 9/30, 24/29
71-80: 4-3-0 (8), 15/14, 7/13, 17/19

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-6; 108-111 all-time)
Oct. 18 at CGY: L, 4-3 (GWG-Monahan)
Nov. 11 vs. NJD: L, 2-1 (GWG-Greene)
Dec. 5 at WSH: L, 3-2 (GWG-Johansson)
Dec. 6 vs. EDM: W, 4-3 (GWG-Ristolainen)
Dec. 16 vs. NYI: W, 3-2 (GWG-Ristolainen)

Jan. 5 at CHI: L, 4-3 (GWG-Kane)
Jan. 20 vs. DET: W, 3-2 (GWG-Okposo)
Jan. 21 at MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Bogosian)
Jan. 24 at NSH: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel)

Feb. 2 vs. NYR: L, 2-1 (GWG-Kreider)
Feb. 7 vs. SJS: W, 5-4 (GWG-Kane)
Feb. 28 vs. NSH: L, 5-4 (GWG-Forsberg)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (2-6; 69-64 all-time)
Oct. 25 at PHI: L, 4-3 (GDG-Giroux)
Nov. 9 vs. OTT: L, 2-1 (GDG-Ryan)
Nov. 19 vs. PIT: W, 2-1 (GDG-C. O’Reilly)
Nov. 23 vs. DET: L, 2-1 (GDG-Vanek)
Dec. 17 at CAR: L, 2-1 (GDG-Stempniak)
Dec. 20 at FLA: L, 4-3 (GDG-Trocheck)
March 4 vs. TBL: L, 2-1 (GDG-Point)
March 17 at ANA: W, 2-1 (GDG-Girgensons)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Kyle Okposo … 5 games … 600 NHL games
Goals
Tyler Ennis … 4 goals … 100 NHL goals
Assists
Brian Gionta … 3 assists … 300 NHL assists
Points
Evander Kane … 3 points … 300 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
Brian Gionta … 1,000th NHL game … 3/27 vs. FLA